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what constitutes a Horror film?

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  • what constitutes a Horror film?

    I'm having a hard time categorizing a short film of mine. It has scary elements like haunting dreams and suicides and scary costumes. But it's done in a more fantastical way instead of gory scary way. There are some tensey moments but not in the horrific sense. Would that still be classified as a horror?

  • #2
    Sounds like a "thriller" though it's probably a bit subjective.

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    • #3
      Initially, in my head, it's a drama. But it has too many fantastical elements.

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      • #4
        Generally speaking - most people like to see a movie categorized by it's main story point or take away.

        Many sad Dramas may have a truly scary scene like a rape or a murder.

        Many great Comedies have lots of straight drama in them.

        Many serious Horror movies have funny or poignant scenes.

        But the main theme or thrust of the story you are telling - Which does it most closely fall under?
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        • #5
          Originally posted by DPStewart View Post
          Generally speaking - most people like to see a movie categorized by it's main story point or take away.

          Many sad Dramas may have a truly scary scene like a rape or a murder.

          Many great Comedies have lots of straight drama in them.

          Many serious Horror movies have funny or poignant scenes.

          But the main theme or thrust of the story you are telling - Which does it most closely fall under?

          Ok this helps a lot. I would say the story is more typical to that of drama. All the supernatural elements are more like symbols and metaphors used to enhance the various dramatic themes and events in the film.

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          • #6
            I would call it a "psychological drama". My two centimes worth...

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            • #7
              I have seen movies classified as horror but not really gory but thrills at the same time. There are horror movies that do not show too much of the bloody scene but focus more on make-up and costumes. I think you can still classify it as horror as long as the scenes are scary enough with adequate sound effects and lightning.

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              • #8
                I think it depends on Tone and Intent. Alien has science fiction trappings but the tone is dark, claustrophobic, with gothic designs and textures. The intent is to scare the bajeezus out of you, so horror. Other pictures like Suspiria, from Dario Argento, are classed as horror, again because of the intent, which again is to scare the audience silly. Wikipedia has an article about the Italian horror film style Giallo which it says is characterized as "Gruesome Murder-mystery Thrillers".

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                • #9
                  I think it depends on Tone and Intent. "Alien" has science fiction trappings; spaceship, EVA, Alien Planet, Alien Spaceship, etc. But the Tone is dark, claustrophobic, with Gothic designs and textures. The intent is to scare the bajeezus out of you, so horror. Other pictures have an Intent to terrify, but the tone is more Erotic so - Erotic Thriller, or twisted mind set i.e. Psycho or Psychological Thriller.

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